“Teddy bear hamster” is really just another name for the Syrian or Golden hamster. They’re also known as fancy bear hamsters! These larger hamsters make cute and cuddly pets, and are the most popular hamster breed around.
Teddy bear hamsters are low-maintenance and easygoing. So older, responsible kids can handle them without much of a problem.
Let’s take a look at 14 teddy bear hamster facts to help you decide if a teddy bear hamster is perfect for you!
1. Ideal for Children
Wild teddy bear hamsters have been domesticated into wonderful little pets. These animals are very friendly if handled correctly.
So, they can be an ideal first pet for older, responsible children. If your child wants a pet it can interact with, a Syrian hamster or teddy bear hamster is perfect.
However, hamsters are delicate and will bite when stressed or in pain. Make sure you teach your children how to properly look after and handle a hamster, and supervise their petting sessions.
Of course, this pet isn’t just for kids, and makes a great companion for adults too.
As we look at some of the other great teddy bear hamster facts, you’ll see how they link to this first point! So many things make Syrian hamsters a great choice for children.
Wondering how long do teddy bear hamsters live? Well, the answer varies quite a lot!
Syrian hamsters in the wild live much shorter lives than our domesticated pets. Wild teddy bear hamster lifespan ranges from 1 – 2 years on average.
However, pet teddy bear hamster lifespan often reaches up to 3 years old. So, this pet isn’t a short-term commitment, but won’t be with you for as long as an animal like a dog would.
There is a world record for the longest living hamster. The hamster in the Guiness World Record book lived to an impressive 4.5 years old!
3. Teddy Bear Hamster Personality
Another great reason to buy a fancy bear hamster as a pet is its personality. The golden hamster has a wonderful temperament for a housepet.
If you help your hamster get used to being handled from a very young age, it will love being held by you.
Fancy bear hamsters are curious and adventurous, so they will love wandering around, burrowing, and exploring!
However, if they become scared or startled, they might react by biting. They’re only small, but their bites can hurt! So, try not to surprise your hamster when you want to handle him.
Speak to him before reaching your hand into his cage, especially if he is asleep. Wake him with your voice, not your fingers!
4. Interesting History!
Some people don’t care about the history or origins of their pets. But, it can be really fun to learn! And, a great way to show off your knowledge of teddy bear hamster facts.
A zoologist named Israel Aharoni captured teddy bear hamsters in Aleppo, Syria, in 1930. Most teddy bear hamsters today originate from that first captive line.
Hamsters came from Syria to America in 1936.
These little creatures gained popularity quickly, and were introduced into the British pet market only ten years later, in the 1940s. The first British hamster club followed shortly after, in 1945!
Other teddy bear hamster clubs include: the Midland Hamster Club in England, and the California Hamster Association in America.
5. Teddy Bear Hamsters are Solitary
If you’re looking for a starter pet, the fancy bear hamster is a great choice, because it prefers to live on its own.
Some breeds of hamster, like the Russian Dwarf, like to have company, and live well in pairs.
But, the Syrian hamster must be kept alone. It lives alone in the wild too!
If you try to put two teddy bear hamsters together, they may attack one another. So, just keep one by itself.
This isn’t always a bad thing! If it’s your first pet, just having one can make things a lot easier, and less intense.
6. Easy to Care For
The teddy bear hamster is a great choice for a first time pet, because their care and maintenance is really simple!
In the wild, hamsters dig deep underground burrows to live and breed. So, make sure they have lots of space to burrow in. You can buy huge cages and tanks that you can fill with over 10 inches of burrowing bedding.
Domestic teddy bear hamster food includes seeds, grains, and vegetables. This can be found in pet store mixes. They can eat fruit, as well, but only small amounts because of the high sugar content.
You will need to clean out a fancy bear hamster’s home regularly. But, this is a great opportunity to watch them run around in a hamster-safe play area! Just make sure not to choose somewhere they can escape from.
7. Teddy Bear Hamster Handling
Golden hamsters are a great choice as a pet because they are quite tame pets! As long as you handle your hamster for a little bit every day, from a young age, they will love interacting with you.
Handling your little companion is also a great way to bond and interact with it.
This is a great reason to get a teddy bear hamster, because everyone loves a pet that they can play with and cuddle!
8. Teddy Bear Hamster Size
Another great reason to get a golden hamster is their size.
Fancy bear hamster sizes generally range between 4 to 6 inches long, though they can grow larger. They are one of the biggest hamster breeds, coming in at almost double the size of dwarf hamsters!
And interestingly, females usually grow bigger than males.
This size makes golden hamsters the perfect pet, as they are big enough to handle and interact with. But, not so big that they take up too much space.
9. Nocturnal Pets
Teddy bear hamsters are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day and are active at night. This is true of both wild and domesticated hamsters. It makes sense, too, because their original homeland, Syria, is quite hot during the day and much cooler at night.
This might seem like a controversial reason to get a pet, but a hamster’s sleep pattern actually makes it a brilliant choice. Especially for children who have school in the day, or adults who work outside of the home.
If you want a pet you can leave at home while you’re busy at work or school, and interact with in the early mornings and late evenings, this is the perfect animal.
This can mean that a bedroom isn’t the best place for their cage, though! As, they can be noisy when burrowing and exercising.
10. Variety of Colors and Patterns
Teddy bear hamsters are great pets because they come in so many different colors and patterns. This means, each one is truly unique to its little family!
There are over 40 color varieties of these hamsters. Some of these hamster colors include cinnamon, gray, yellow, black, and chocolate. Their bellies are often white.
But, they can also have light or dark patterns and markings all over their bodies!
The color of your hamster might not matter to you. But, it can be a fun way to help young children get excited about their new pet!
11. Teddy Bear Hamster Houses
One of the most important things to get when you’re buying a hamster, is a safe, spacious home for it.
All types of hamsters, including teddy bear hamsters, need a large enough cage to run around in. Small cages with no enrichment can lead to stress, unhappiness, and sickness.
Bigger cages allow you to add more fun things for your hamster to burrow in, climb over, and chew on, keeping your hamster happy. All hamsters need more space than you might first think.
It’s hard to know exactly how much, because there is no legal minimum size, and pet store cages can be quite small. The ASPCA recommends a 10 gallon aquarium as an absolute minimum.
But, we believe that bigger is always best. So, if possible, choose a home for your hamster with the biggest floor space possible, and fill it with fun objects to stimulate your little pet.
Hamster cages come in all shapes and sizes, and choosing the right one can be really fun! You can choose from a large variety of materials, shapes, and even colors.
Choose one with plenty of burrowing space, running space, and lots of room for extra hamster accessories.
12. Teddy Bear Hamster Price
Another great reason to get a Syrian hamster is their affordability. These little animals are much cheaper to care for than bigger pets.
The most expensive part of getting a golden hamster is often making sure you have all the supplies.
Prices of a hamster and all of its necessary supplies will vary depending on where you go.
But, after this initial cost, your teddy bear hamster will be really affordable to care for.
13. Teddy Bear Hamsters are Fun!
One main reason to choose a Syrian hamster as your pet is: they’re really fun!
Hamsters don’t just sleep in their cages all the time, they’re really active! You can watch them running around in their exercise wheels or hamster balls.
Or, you can explore your creative side, and make a fun play area for them. You can create a golden hamster maze, or jungle gym. Put some treats throughout and watch your hamster explore!
Hamsters can even learn tricks and habits, so this is a pet you’ll interact with a lot.
14. Finally, They’re Just So Cute!
Our final reason that you’ll want to get a teddy bear hamster is simple – they’re adorable!
The Arabic name for hamsters roughly translates to “Mister Saddlebags.” So, how can this little creature be anything but cute!
With their round black eyes, tiny twitching noses, and fluffy fur, you’ll fall in love with the Syrian hamster. And nothing is cuter than watching them fill up their cheeks with food!
No matter what age you are, you’ll love taking care of a teddy bear hamster.
Teddy Bear Hamster Summary
Teddy bear hamsters are undeniably adorable. And now you know that they’re quite fascinating in terms of history, behavior, and personality, too!
Can you think of any great reasons to get a Syrian hamster that we’ve missed? What’s your favorite thing about this little pet?
Make sure to tell us all about your experiences in the comments below!
- The Untold Story Of The Hamster, AKA Mr. Saddlebags. Smithsonian Magazine.
- About Hamsters. Omlet
- Hamster. Encyclopedia Britannica
- ‘Hamster Care‘ ASPCA
- ‘Is a Hamster the Right Pet for You‘, The Humane Society
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